Master of Public Administration

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Course Descriptions

General Core

MPA 215: Changing Environment & Management of Public & Nonprofit Organizations - 3 Credit Hours

This course is designed to introduce participants to the dynamic environments of public organizations and nonprofit entities. The course reviews the historical and the institutional context of public and nonprofit organizations and examines the knowledge, skills and values necessary to manage such organizations. The course also familiarizes participants with the norms and the expectations of masters- level education.  Pre-requisite:  Consent of the Assistant Dean, Graduate Programs, College of Business and Public Administration. To be completed within the first 9 hours of program.

MPA 216: Managing Human Resources as Assets - 3 Credit Hours

Treating Human Resources as an asset rather than as a cost represents a philosophical transformation on human research management thought. Focus is on theories, research and practices related to the functions and activities of managing human resources in public and nonprofit organizations. The course covers the responsibilities and inter-relationships involving job analysis, job structuring, EEO, human resource planning, recruitment and selection of employees, ethics, international HRM, performance appraisals, counseling, incentives, safety and health, human resources development, career planning and union/employee- management relations, multiculturalism, the virtual office, outsourcing, issues central to HR in the public and nonprofit sectors are included and compared to the private sector.

MPA 217: Applying Information, Research, and Analysis in Nonprofit and Public Environments - 3 Credit Hours

Course provides an introduction to the methodology of the social sciences as well as public administration and management research. Competencies important to the professional practitioner that are covered include how to assess and evaluate services, read and analyze research published in relevant areas of management and policy analysis, and develop an understanding of the strengths and limitations of published research. The course provides the skills necessary to become a critical and competent consumer of both qualitative and quantitative research related to public administration.

MPA 220 Public Budgeting and Financial Management- 3 Credit Hours

An investigation of (1) financial institutions and practices, including budgeting public funds and the political constraints on their operation; (2) revenue sources, including taxation, charges and fees, and intergovernmental financial transactions; (3) financial management techniques such as the administration of government debt, idle cash, risk management, purchasing and management.

MPA 221: Public Organizations and Leadership- 3 Credit Hours

Focus is on management and leadership in public organizations as informed by bureaucracy and rationality, formal and informal structures, and rapidly changing political and organizational environments. The course will examine institutional factors and contemporary issues surrounding behavior of organizational members, including topics such as organizational design, organizational change, performance management, and technology integration. 

MPA 225:  Financial Aspects of Public & Nonprofit Organizations- 3 Credit Hours

A study of financial issues, reporting and budgeting for state and local governmental units and nonprofit organizations including colleges and universities, hospitals, volunteer health and social services organizations and other nonprofit entities.

MPA 226:  Public Policy Decision Making and Analysis - 3 Credit Hours

This course is an examination of the public policy process with an emphasis on developing the knowledge and analytical skills necessary to manage the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies in public and nonprofit organizations. The course includes quantitative and qualitative strategies used to formulate and implement effective public policies and it will also cover performance and impact-based evaluation techniques. Case studies selected from several policy areas will be used throughout the course.

MPA 240: Values Ethics in Decision Making - 3 Credit Hours

A presentation and discussion of how values and ethics play a role in the decision making process and their impact on the multiple roles played by organizations. The goal is to challenge course participants to reflect on how their values are determined and impact their personal and professional responsibilities within an organizational setting. The course will include a critical analysis of the role of the firm in promotion of the sustainability of the community(ies) in which it operates. 

MPA 260 – Apply Innovative Solutions to Current Problems (Capstone) - 3 Credit Hours

A problem-based learning experience in which the student engages in a real world challenge utilizing problem solving strategies along with experience and disciplinary based knowledge and skills to find and develop innovative solution(s).  Pre-requisite: Admission to MPA program; MPA 215, MPA 217, MPA 226.  To be completed in final 9 hours of program. 


Learn more about the Drake Master of Public Administration program. Plan to attend an information session, discuss your educational goals with CBPA staff, or apply now.